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GS3000 - More Constraints on Sovereignty

NGOs & a Global Economic System Cont...

Corey Perkins

on 29 August 2014

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Transcript of GS3000 - More Constraints on Sovereignty

3 Categories of NGOs

1- Human Rights based -

2- Development

3- Environmental
NGOs, States, and MNCs
Govt's - legal power
MNCs - Economic Power
Amnesty Intl
Sovereignty & Economics...
Non - governmental Organizations -
A legally constructed private organization without government participation
made...or its made up of individuals from a variety of countries (intl ngos).
Human Rights Ngos monitor and report Human rights abuses and advocate for better human rights standards and laws
Amnesty International is an Ex.
NGOs often act as watchdogs over govts which can lead to tension and can affect policy by helping to draft intl conventions and treaties, by providing expert opinions, and by performing tasks states do not or would not rather perform.
Although their headquarters may be located in one country, they are not a part of any one country or government.

They can be funded by governments and retain their NGO status so long as they exclude govt representatives from from membership.

Otherwise - they are funded by their members and private interests
The idea of Human rights comes from the Universal declaration of of Human rights adopted by the UN in 1948 which describes the rights to which all human beings are entitled
Development NGOs provide aid to support the economic, social, and political development of developing countries - This is a focus on social and economic structures that will enrich communities and eliminate poverty in the long term
-Establishing Schools, helping people start businesses, developing health care facilities, educating farmers
Ex- BRAC - Formerly the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee - provides billions of $ in microloans (business starters), health care to 80 million Bangladeshis, and even instituted an anti-diarrhea drive that "cut child mortality for children under 5 yrs old from 25% to 7% over 30 years.
Environmental NGOs focus on improving the state of the natural environment - air, water, and land clean-up initiatives - preservation of natural landscapes, animals, and resources - sustainable use of land and resources

Ex- World Wildlife Fund (WWF) - protects natural environments and promotes sustainable approaches to the use of natural resources
Rely on Moral authority, information, and advocacy to be effective. While some organizations like Greenpeace send people into the field for specific causes, most focus on the dissemination of information to change the collective conscious of those involved for certain interests.
Rise of the internet...

Many times the goal of an NGO will be to influence policy makers. 3,050 NGOs have been accredited by the UN as often they share similar goals. This also strengthens their effectiveness
70s & 80s - Multiple Human Rights based NGOs focused on justice for the poor and land reform were targeted by the Govts in El Salvador & Guatemala - this included killings
Citizens Clearinghouse for Hazardous Waste led a 3 year campaign on McDonalds use of Styrofoam, informing people about the ozone depleting CFCs used to make the packaging material and its failure to degrade in landfills.

It also coordinated collective protests which drew enough attention that Mickey Ds ended its use of Styrofoam to avoid a loss of reputation and profit.
Taco Bell's Tomatoes...
Some are worried NGOs are garnering too much power, "govts must now compete with civil society' - interest groups accountable only to themselves but often with significant financial resources" & ...

Can lack (not always) transparency, oversight, accountability, and proper expertise - acting out of moral disposition but with insufficient knowledge to locality & specifics...
"Today NGOs deliver more official development assistance than the entire UN system (excluding WB and IMF) - in many cases they are delivering the services - in urban and rural community development, education, and health care - that faltering governments can no longer manage"
NGO started in 1961 dedicated to the protection of human rights.
-Sends experts to talk to victims
-observes trials
-interviews local officials
-connects human rights activists
-monitors global and local media
-publishes detailed reports
-informs the news media
-publicizes concerns via media
-Helps prevent or stop human rights abuses by putting pressure on govts, armed political groups, companies and intergovernmental bodies via public demonstrations, vigils, letter-writing campaigns, education, concerts, lobbying, emails, and connections to international media
Annual Reports -

Critics have accused Amnesty of being Biased towards the west. For ex - although AI was critical of the human rights record of the SA government, it refused to condemn apartheid, because some critics argue the British and US govts were the apartheid regimes biggest economic supporters.

By 2005 However, even the US found itself prominently featured in AI's offender lists
ex- reported 500 men at Guantanamo Bay arrested and given detention without trial
Vs. Skeptics

Hyperglobalizers believe that states borders will become completely irrelevant as globalization increases because politics, they say, have and will become powerless in the face of international forces. This unstoppable techno-economic juggernaut will crush all governmental attempts to reintroduce restrictive policies and regulations.
They believe that as the world becomes more economically interconnected, borders will eventually become irrelevant as a meaningful way to understand social and political change.
They argue that nation states have already lost their dominant role in the global economy.
As an example, it seems global capital markets have gone beyond state control in such a way that choices made elsewhere in other economies can hurt other states across the world who are economically interdependent.
Skeptics instead argue that the nation state is still the supreme authority, highlighting that political forces indeed lifted the restrictions on trade and unleashed the forces of globalization.
Hence, because the political forces control whether and how these economic forces are experienced, traditional nation state political structures still remain primarily in control.
For example, it has become much easier for capital to escape taxation and other national policy restrictions. Thus, global markets frequently undermine the capacity of governments to set independent national policy objectives and impose their own domestic standards. Thus this is evidence that the nation state has indeed lost some of its control over what happens inside its borders because of outside forces.
In reality we should recognize there is truth to both arguments. On the one hand, there is no question that trade liberalization and deregulation have significantly constrained the set of political options open to states, particularly in the global South
On the other hand, governments can still make their economies more or less attractive to investors. & Nation states retain control over education, infrastructure, and population movements.
9/11 terrorist attacks disproved the hyperglobalizers idea of a borderless word. Yet, on the other hand, global terror networks have revealed the inadequacies of conventional national security structures based on the modern nation - state system, and thus leaders have been forced to engage in new forms of international cooperation.
Austerity in Greece?
Everything will ultimately hinge on a report by Greece’s debt inspectors from the European Central Bank, European Commission and International Monetary Fund, collectively known as the troika, on the state of Greece’s compliance with its bailout terms.
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